Redeemed Day 10 Steps Of Faith: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What did Naomi mean in verse 1 when she said, “shouldn’t I find rest for you…”?

2) Why did Ruth uncover Boaz’s feet? (verse 4)

3) Why would Ruth just do as Naomi said? (verse 5)

Ruth 3:1-5

Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, shouldn’t I find rest for you, so that you will be taken care of? 2 Now isn’t Boaz our relative? Haven’t you been working with his female servants? This evening he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfumed oil, and wear your best clothes. Go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let the man know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, notice the place where he’s lying, go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. Then he will explain to you what you should do.”

5 So Ruth said to her, “I will do everything you say.”

Original Intent

1) What did Naomi mean in verse 1 when she said, “shouldn’t I find rest for you…”?
This is an interesting statement which the NIV Bible translates “find a home,” the NASB translates “shall I not seek security for you” and the Good News Bible translates “find a husband”.  Ruth and Naomi had a home, they had moved back to Naomi’s hometown to live in the house Naomi and her husband Elimelech left during a famine many years before. As widows, both women knew that having a husband wasn’t their source of security. Naomi’s desire for Ruth went beyond just having a husband or a place to live, she wanted her to have a safe and secure resting place. This verse is a restatement of Naomi’s blessing for Ruth and her sister in law Orpah seen in the first chapter of Ruth verse 9. “May the LORD enable each of you to find rest in the home of your new husband.” Naomi’s blessing communicated her heart to both young women that they would be secure in peaceful marriages.

2) Why did Ruth uncover Boaz’s feet? (verse 4)
Naomi’s instruction to Ruth to “go uncover his feet and lie down” is one of the most culturally interesting aspects of this passage. These events are taking place at the end of the barley harvest. Winnowing the barley was an important occasion for a community and often started later in the day as things cooled down and a breeze kicked up. At the end of the hard work was a celebration with food and drink. Boaz slept with the harvest to protect his wealth and because he was tired after a long day. Scholars debate if Ruth’s visit to the threshing floor was scandalous, but all agree Boaz and Ruth acted with integrity. The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary mentions how Ruth’s behavior “was a method, doubtless conformable to prevailing usage, of reminding Boaz of the duty which devolved on him as the kinsman of her deceased husband. Boaz probably slept upon a mat or skin; Ruth lay crosswise at his feet.” When Ruth first went to work in Boaz’ fields, Naomi realized he was their kinsman-redeemer. This special role was designed by God to protect the family and provide for widows. A kinsman-redeemer had a special obligation to redeem family land and to marry a relative’s widow. Marriage would provide the security Ruth needed.

3) Why would Ruth just do as Naomi said? (verse 5)
Ruth willingly took her mother in law Naomi’s counsel. She was a foreigner who had moved to a new community to follow Naomi. She knew she needed help. As Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Ruth trusted Naomi’s advice because she trusted Naomi’s heart. She knew Naomi wanted the best for her, and she had been witness to Naomi’s good character towards her. Ruth also had a kind heart which was demonstrated by how she cared for Naomi. Ruth’s willingness to generously help Naomi and be humbly taught by her spoke of her genuine love. However, Ruth wasn’t being a push-over; she was willing to stand up to Naomi if she disagreed with her. In the first chapter of Ruth, Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers’ homes three times, but Ruth resisted saying, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.”   When Naomi realized Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Both decisions on Ruth’s part were motivated by a heart of love, once demonstrated with boldness and once shown through humble submission.

Everyday Application

1) What did Naomi mean in verse 1 when she said, “shouldn’t I find rest for you…”?
Naomi’s heart’s desire was for Ruth to have a secure home, a resting place. Our home can be a place of rest or a place of strife. It can be a place where we are secure, encouraged, and safe or it can be a place of strife, antagonism, and stress.  A resting place is a safe place.  My heart’s desire for my home to be a resting place for my family and for the people God brings in my door.  I want my friends and family to feel at ease when they walk in the door.  In times of insecurity, I have learned that my security is not in my house or what I have, it is in the Lord. We can cry out to Jesus as David did in Psalm 16:1, “Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.” God is our source of peace and rest. Jesus told his followers, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

2) Why did Ruth uncover Boaz’s feet? (verse 4)
I am sure that sneaking back to the barley winnowing floor to uncover Boaz’ feet was a little nerve-wracking for Ruth. What if someone saw her? What if Boaz didn’t even wake up? Stepping out in faith can be unnerving. It requires trusting God with the unknowns. It means being obedient before all our questions are answered. When God calls us to take the next step in faith, faithful obedience often requires us to step out of our comfort zone. The Holy Spirit may inspire us to reach out to a struggling neighbor, share an encouraging word to a stranger, change jobs, or give generously to someone in need.

3) Why would Ruth just do as Naomi said? (verse 5)
Stereotypically, “in-law” relationships are fraught with conflict, but Ruth and Naomi’s relationship was rooted in love. When we are confident of someone’s love and their knowledge, we can trust their counsel. In our independent culture, it might be hard to imagine Ruth’s willingness to simply do as Naomi instructed. We can learn from both examples! When we are the advice giver, we need to be sure that our advice aligns with God’s Word and is based on love. As Proverbs 27:9 says, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Naomi’s advice was grounded in her love for Ruth. She also based her advice on the biblical responsibilities of the kinsman-redeemer. Naomi was a woman who knew the word of God and lived it out. Naomi had taught Ruth about the Lord. Her advice to Ruth wasn’t based on her authority as mother-in-law, but on the authority of God’s word and her desire to bless Ruth. As the recipient of advice, it is important to evaluate the advice we are given based on the giver’s motivation and perspective. Often people give advice out of misguided principles or their own biases rather than the Word of God. We can learn from Ruth’s teachable heart! Ruth didn’t resist Naomi’s sound advice; she wasn’t too proud to obey. We must remain teachable and resist pride when we are given biblical counsel from a heart of love.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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